The 2010 story no one tells

I was delighted to read Luke Alfred’s inspired and inspiring piece on the South African media’s view of the 2010 World Cup in yesterday’s Sunday Times, not least because it neatly sums up a lot of stuff that I’ve been moaning about for ages.

You may have noticed that when it comes to the 2010 Soccer World Cup there is an endlessly circulating merry-go-round of stories, each with its own shape and unique place in the system.
There is the tryingly familiar “stadium budget” story with quotes by ex-deputy minister of finance Jabu Moleketi; there is the “Sepp Blatter mildly reprimands the organising committee” story, and the grotesquely amusing “plan B” story with its many denials.

Interestingly, I note that we are not the only ones to suffer with these stories. The plans for Euro 2012 tournament, to be jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine are plagued with the same issues; who could forget that construction for the Athens 2004 Olympics was miles behind schedule (which we’re not) and they still managed to stage a thoroughly successful event? But it’s one of the duties of the world’s press to find the worst in everything and to sensationalise minor events in order to make mountains out of molehills and sell newspapers. And it’s something that the South African press are especially good at.


Soccer City, Soweto

With sport to some extent replacing nationalism (or being one of the ways in which the nation expresses itself in these post-nationalistic times) the stadiums for the World Cup will express the best of what South Africa has to offer as the century progresses.

They’ll become monuments by which the world recognises this country and by which we define ourselves.
In this sense, debates about what they will cost and how they will be used are profoundly beside the point. Despite the threadbare narratives of the present, stories of striking workers and an underachieving national side, the World Cup will be a pivotal event in the history of post-apartheid South Africa, a time that future generations will look back on with justifiable pride.

So besotted are we with the present that we can’t see it now, but over the long arc of time our children will look back on 2010 and tell their children “I was there”.

Alfred makes a good point, but no-one’s listening. There’s more to life than the present, no matter how tough times may be for many in SA right now. One of the major benefits of 2010, aside from the immediately obvious tourism and sponsorship revenue and its spin-offs is a shared national experience which will generate pride in the country. Our kids have yet to be tainted with the negativity running deep in the veins of the South African media and its followers. And it’s the children’s reaction as they view things with that objective innocence which will be the true marker of the success of the 2010 tournament.

It’s my intention to expose my son to as much of the atmosphere and spectacle as I possibly can.
He’ll be 4 years old and just beginning to form his first “proper” memories and I can think of no better time, place or event for him to remember. It’s going to be an amazing experience. Looking back to my own football-dominated childhood, I can only dream about having experienced a World Cup on my doorstep. (Yes, I was born well after 1966, thank you very much!)

Down the line, my son and I will watch rugby, football, concerts and gladiatorial events possibly involving tigers and pointy sticks at the Green Point Stadium. And while each event will be special in some way, the memories of 2010 that they trigger may never be matched.  

Live webcam feeds of Cape Town stadium site

 

Sick Toddler?

Is your toddler running a high fever?

Does he have a history of copious vomiting in these situations?

Here’s a comprehensive list of what foodstuffs not to feed him:

  1. Cherry jelly

I’m sure there are others, but at the mention of that first one, my brain has gone into an immediate and complete automatic shutdown in the interests of preserving what remains of my sanity.

I think I need to go and lie down in a darkened room.
(That way, I won’t be able to see the stains on the carpet.)

Bonding with your baby

From the father’s point of view, bonding with your baby is not only hugely important, it can also be hugely problematic:

Bonding research has long focused on the maternal relationship, but we are starting to see that paternal bonding is just as important to the child’s overall development,” says Dr. David Lamm, a family counselor and a researcher involved with the USU study. “Though it is important for babies to have a relationship with both parents, fathers often have a difficult time finding ways to bond with their newborn infants.”

From a father’s point of view, there are plenty of ways that you can encourage this bonding process: being part of the baby’s routine, making plenty of eye contact, holding your baby regularly, bottle-feeding where appropriate etc etc.


Babies: what goes in, must come out

From the baby’s point of view, things are much more straightforward. Your father is doing all the hard work on the bonding front. It’s your job to test him in order to check that he is suitable for that paternal role. This examination process is very simple, having only two steps:

  1. Prevent your father from getting a decent night’s sleep. (It should be noted that this forms an integral part of torture routines used by shady organisations worldwide.)
  2. Exude unbelievably large volumes of fluid (or semi-solids) from every orifice at every available opportunity. Extra marks will be awarded for soiling nappies and items of clothing immediately after they have been changed at 2am.

If your father still greets you with a smile when you wake the following morning, he has passed. Although, you might want to wait until he has had a shower, then vomit in his hair a bit and test his reaction, just to make sure.

Just looking for photos?

Note to regular readers: Please scroll down to read 6000 miles…

Just here for photos of our newly-arrived daughter?
Of course, I’d much prefer it if you’d hang around a little and take in the sights and smells of 6000 miles…
Or even subscribe to the RSS feed and we’ll tell you about all the latest news.
Who knows – you might even like it here.

But if you were directed here by my wife or you are here with the sole intention of looking at photos of squeaking neonates, then you’ll find the appropriate flickr set here. (Last update: 18th August 2008).

UPDATE: The Mrs has been utilising her swanky mobile phone to upload pictures of the kids to her Sony Ericsson/Blogger photo blog. No words, no frills, just photos. Which is what it’s all about really, right?


Squeaker

Normal service is resumed below.
Thanks for visiting – and Bon Voyage!

Comfort in Sound…

Hectic doesn’t really begin to describe it. Although, of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I used to get my comfort from sleep, but that seems to have become a distant memory of late, so in both my spare seconds, I’ve been trawling the interweb and popping into local “record” shops on my nappy-seeking visits to Pick n Pay, for musical inspiration and salvation.

First off, for you non-Saffas, a wonderfully catchy summer hit released smack bang in the middle of winter by Cape Town’s electronica specialists, Goldfish. I will warn you that you will be Ooh-ahh, Ooh-ahh, Ooooh’ing for the rest of your day if you click on the youtube link below. This Is How It Goes is taken from their new album Perceptions of Pacha, which is seemingly widely unavailable to download anywhere online.


Direct link*

Watched? Enjoyed? Yes, I know. It’s perhaps a little too trendy for some of my older readers. I recognise that about 90% of you are now closing your browser windows in tears. It’s ok – it happens a lot when people read my stuff.
And while Fleet and Globus will surely be checking out Goldfish further, they won’t be too annoyed to be reminded about the brilliant Fuzzbox and their lead singer, Vickie Perks. Here she is and they are, in top form back in 1989, in a video directed by and starring Adrian Edmondson.


Direct link*

Still brilliant. In a mildly chedderesque fashion.
Vickie Perks is now lead singer of the imaginatively named “Vix n the Kix”, who, according to her myspace page are touring South Africa in October this year (TBC). This seems slightly bizarre for a band that appear to have been no further than Wolverhampton and Stourbridge of late, but hey – if you’re coming to Cape Town, Vickie, I’ll make the effort. Just let me know where and when.

* Visiting from South Africa?
YouTube videos “no longer available”?

Of course they are – it’s just dearest Telkom playing tricks on you.
Refresh a few times or use the direct URL to play them.